Dwight Howard won’t rule out leaving the Lakers to chase a championship
Dwight Howard ended up with the Los Angeles Lakers because that is where he wanted to be. It is generally assumed that Howard will sign an extension with the Lakers at the end of the season and become the next cornerstone of their franchise. Had L.A. thought Howard would stick around for a year and pack his bags in the summer of 2013, they never would have traded for him.
While it seems unlikely at this point that Howard will leave the Lakers, he made it perfectly clear in a recent interview with John Denton of the Orlando Magic’s official website that his top priority is winning a championship.
“You only get one shot,” Howard explained. “People might not ever understand that, but at the end of the day it’s not their life. You can’t let anybody else dictate how they want your life to be. I only have one shot to play and do something that I love. Not everybody is blessed and have an opportunity to do what they love.
“So I want to do it the best that I can and I’m going to take everything in I can to get what I can out of the NBA. Which, for me, is winning a championship. So if I have to play on another team or do whatever I have to do to get one, that’s my goal. This is my passion, so I’ll continue to fight.”
As Ball Don’t Lie mentioned, it’s possible Howard was talking about his decision to leave Orlando instead of signing an extension with the Magic. However, it would stand to reason that he has no interest in rebuilding. If this is Pau Gasol’s last season with the Lakers and Steve Nash doesn’t work out, Howard could seek out a better situation at the end of the season. Kobe Bryant is 34 years young, after all.
Whatever he decides to do, Howard isn’t going to improve his public image unless he is honest. He lost the respect of a lot of people by constantly flip-flopping while in Orlando and saying one thing and doing another. It didn’t take long for the average fan to get tired of hearing Howard’s name before he was traded to L.A., and it won’t take them long to get sick of it again if he jerks the Lakers around. Then again, it doesn’t sound like he really cares.